Industry event reveals how Mobile Connect has evolved well beyond its authentication moorings
LONDON — Last week, global leaders in the mobile industry and adjacent sectors convened in London to discuss the increasingly pressing need for an identity solution that meets the needs of both national and global service providers.
Central to the debate was the degree to which these needs can be served by Mobile Connect, the operator-led identity solution. As emphasised by many speakers at the event, one of its greatest strengths was its interoperability; that is to say its potential for use on apps and internet services regardless of users’ operator.
Operators attending the summit agreed that operator collaboration and offering interoperable identity solution are essential. As remarked by Atish Gude, President of Corporate Strategy at Verizon, a single ‘Mobile operator can’t solve the problem of security themselves’. Throughout the event, there was a growing sense that interoperability was of vital strategic importance to operators in their bid to carve a space in the identity market.
Dario Betti, Director of Products at MTS backed Mobile Connect to unite operators and drew attention to the strategic importance of operators’ working collaboratively to leverage their unique offerings in the identity space: ‘operators are already managing a large ID service and need to think of it strategically – collaboration is fundamental for scale’.
It was agreed that operator attributes were one way in which MNOs could have a profound impact on identity. Mobile Connect can be used to offer a variety of attributes such as location, purchase history and usage history, which in turn can be used by service providers and public sector services to help verify transactions in a secure and timely speedy fashion.
Speaking of their experience in offering an attribute-based service, Telefonica recounted how their efforts to provide banks with an attribute-based identity solution. They claimed their solution, which used customer location to verify purchases, had been significantly impeded by being unable to offer banks a solution which drew upon customer data of all operators in that market. Here, the implication was clear – service providers are making a clear demand for an interoperable solution.
Interoperability was also seen as vital to unlocking cross-border transactions. After showing itself to be the first private-sector cross-border public service authentication solution compatible with European Union eIdentification and Trust Services (eIDAS) Regulation, Mobile Connect has been designed with cross-border services in mind. Indeed, the event revealed how the consideration for a cross-border identity solution was increasingly important to operators. According to Andrew Kim, Project Leader at SK Telecom, lack of interoperability with Chinese operators had resulted in authentication failures, resulting in denial of content purchases and ultimately a loss of revenue.
Through the event, the message on interoperability and collaboration was clear, operators are moving away from the practice of offering propriety identity solutions and uniting behind Mobile Connect and its products in order to offer customers and service providers a secure, versatile and convenient solution fit for the rapidly evolving digital age in which we live.